A Shared Trait of Customer Champions: Gathering and Acting on Customer Insights

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This week, as we recognize and celebrate the 2015 1to1Media Customer Champions, it's a reminder of the communal characteristics that are shared by customer advocates. They place customers at the center of their strategic efforts. They also listen to and act on customer feedback. In addition, Customer Champions also gather customer insights from a variety of sources in order to better understand what customers want and to continually improve upon the customer experience.
Customer Engagement

This week, as we recognize and celebrate the 2015 1to1Media Customer Champions, it's a reminder of the communal characteristics that are shared by customer advocates. They place customers at the center of their strategic efforts. They also listen to and act on customer feedback. In addition, Customer Champions also gather customer insights from a variety of sources in order to better understand what customers want and to continually improve upon the customer experience.Customer insights can present themselves in a variety of ways. For instance, at Nar, a subsidiary of Azerfon, a mobile telecommunications provider in Azerbaijan, Mikayil Hajiyev, digital marketing manager for the company, keeps a close eye on emerging trends that impact the customer experience across social media and the Web. Hajiyev noticed an increase in customers reaching out through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube. Since the company only had one representative managing its social accounts, Hajiyev foresaw a potential communications bottleneck. So he addressed the issue by combining Nar's social customer care efforts with its customer relations department. Now, five contact center agents are managing the company's social channels, which dramatically reduced the company's response time.

At EMC, Carolyn Muise, vice president of Total Customer Experience, has taken a proactive approach to gathering and acting on customer insights. In 2014, under Muise's leadership, EMC's customer advocates began partnering with its sales teams to conduct one-on-one customer interviews in Asia with 27 C-level customers to help EMC to better understand its customers' needs and interests. That initiative led to a 40 percent increase in customer satisfaction.

A critical component to customer-centricity is demonstrating to customers that their feedback is both important and is being acted on. Under her leadership at CUNA Mutual Group, DeLania K. Truly, vice president, sales, Central Region, the company has restructured how it shares customer feedback with its sales team in order to slash the time between receiving customer feedback and when the company responds. Before Truly took over customer-centricity responsibilities for the company, sales executives often didn't receive customer feedback until three weeks or more after customers had shared it. Today, CUNA Mutual Group's sales leaders receive customer feedback within 48 hours so that they can follow up immediately with customers.

As managing director of The Somerset at Grace Bay, Urmas Karner understands that the hospitality industry is dependent upon the quality of the guest experience. So he walks the grounds of the Turks and Caicos resort multiple times each day to meet and greet guests. This helps Karner to stay personally connected to each guest during their visit while also staying attuned to the guest experience.

When Timucin Guler joined Opet, an oil and fuel company in Turkey as assistant general manager of marketing and communications, the company didn't have a system for collecting and acting on customer insights. Guler introduced a system for collecting customer feedback that simplifies communication between the company's call center and its gas stations. The system enables agents to alert stations managers and senior management about customer service issues before they escalate. These efforts have helped Opet to earn the highest customer satisfaction index score in its sector in an annual survey conducted by Turkey Quality Association and the University of Michigan for the past nine years.

In March 2015, after Hal Hawkins took over responsibility as director for Verizon's Global Support Operations organization - the company's partner space for tech support -- he immediately turned his attention to delving into the minutia that led to less-than-ideal customer experiences due to processes that were leading to customer dissatisfaction.

Customer experience leaders such as Hawkins and the other Customer Champions demonstrate their passion for delivering great customer experiences by rolling up their sleeves to explore and act on customer insights.

Download the e-book to check out the Champions' stories.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION